Woah! There has been a FLOOD of casting news for the Hugh Jackman vehicle Wolverine: X-Men Origins with a whole bunch of characters from the Marvel Universe making appearances in the upcoming superhero movie. The first two images are the most recent press photos from the set. Looks pretty good....
Okay, now here's the casting in order of importance to Wolverine and by who will also possibly feature most in the movie. In particular to how they relate to the Weapon-X program for those who are familiar with the storyline from the comics. Firstly...
Liev Schreiber as SABRE-TOOTH!
This to me is an AWESOME casting! Sabre-Tooth is easily the nemesis of Wolverine and having an actor as capable as Schreiber do it is inspired. Victor "Sabre-Tooth" Creed is the bigger, psychotic and more sadistic antithesis of Logan so having Schreiber is a good move because it would fun to see him play crazy and he's a big guy too, PLUS he could also do the rare emotional moments that Creed tends to exude, typically due to the trauma of the Weapon-X program. Next, we have...
Danny Huston as WILLIAM STRYKER!
Nice. Stryker is the classic fundamentalist villain in the X-Men Universe and Huston seems to always play scumbags very well (The Constant Gardener, 30 Days of Night, The Proposition, etc). Actually, has he ever been the good guy in a movie or what? Stryker was originally played by Brain Cox in X-Men 2 (and he did a great job might I add) where the religious angle was dropped but it will be interesting to see what his purpose in the film is. Huston could easily be the principal bad guy in this movie if the angle is that he's responsible for Weapon-X... let's see what happens. Thirdly, we have...
Lynn Collins as SILVER-FOX!
So much for Maggie Q eh?! Yes, Ms. Q has been beaten for the role of Logan's purported love-interest in the film and also fellow Weapon-X graduate. The Silver Fox character's only ability appears to be the healing factor similar to Logan's. Collins' acting resume includes roles in The Number 23 (2007), The Merchant of Venice (2004) with Al Pacino and William Friedkin's critically acclaimed comeback film, Bug (2006).
Dominic Monaghan as BARNELL "BEAK" BOHUSK!
The luckiest hobbit in the world (just look at his wife) has landed the role of Barnell aka "Beak", a lower-class mutant who is reported to be an ally of Wolvie's. The interesting factor here is which persona of Beak's will be Monaghan play. The original Beak is well-known as being a bit of a jabroni character with a lame power. See I can understand why they would choose Monaghan to play a character like this, BUT, if he's supposed to "help" Logan, then maybe he would be the more powerful "Blackwing" character which Barnell later becomes after the House of M saga. My bet's on the jabroni though...
Next, the Weapon-X Alumni (who will probably have lesser roles)...
Ryan Reynolds as DEADPOOL!
Here's a massive casting in a small part! Deadpool is an extremely popular character among Marvel fanboys (do I smell franchise?) but don't expect Reynolds to appear much in the film, it is after all about Jackman's character. Interestingly, there has been a series of comics featuring Wolverine/Deadpool team-ups so expect that to happen in the film at some point. Also, Reynolds could easily be the natural comic-relief too... just don't call him "Spider-Man". Oh yeah, I guess this means "The Flash" for DC Comics is down the drain then, right?
Daniel Henney as AGENT ZERO!
Hunky (ahem) Korean star has been cast as Agent Zero, a character that is known for hunting down Weapon-X rogues and such. Typically a bounty-hunter type character so expect a ruck with Logan. Whether he wins or not, well, ask Boba Fett how bounty-hunters fare in sci-fi movies...
will.i.am as WRAITH!
Another Black Eyed Peas member in a movie. Look what you started Fergie! Oh well, I can't expect the uber-talented will.i.am to feature a lot in this film. This whole thing kinda reminds me of the team of actors they put together in Blade 2 with Donnie Yen and the Danny John-Jules in that there is such an ecletic range of personnel. But hey, I guess this also means will.i.am will be on soundtrack duties too so I cool with that.
Finally, two more castings of note:
Taylor Kitsch as... GAMBIT!
Get this: 20th Century Fox has signed Kitsch to a 3-Picture deal to play the super-cajun Remy Lebeau aka "Gambit". Woah. I like this casting. I'm familiar with Kitsch's work in the Friday Night Lights TV series as Tim Riggins - the brooding, miserable and womanizing jock, so this could translate very well. And if you're one of the people who hates the Gambit character (myself NOT included) because he's "kewl", then... tough noogies. It should also be noted that Gambit and Wolverine often team-up in the books too. *cough*Franchise*cough*
Kevin Durand as THE BLOB!
Canadian actor Durand is also another capable actor giving good villainous-like turns in 3:10 to Yuma (2007) and Smokin' Aces (2006) but his character is associated more with the X-Men universe than the Wolverine's branch of characters. I'm expecting a fight scene (perhaps the opening scene of the movie) between Gambit and The Blob through which Logan meets both characters. Otherwise, he's minor, man!
Final word. I think the director, Gavin Hood, and the casting director have done a very decent job of getting the talent into this film and now for the first time, I actually want to see this movie! May 1st 2009, here we come!
Sources: AICN, IGN, ComicBookMovie.com, Variety